Research in Outdoor Education




Adventure education (AE) research often utilizes social support as an outcome variable associated with participation in extended outdoor adventure trips. Social support is defined as “the degree to which individuals have access to social resources, in the form of relationships, on which they can rely” (Johnson & Sarason, 1979). Using an adventure-based program offering a treatment specifically designed for father and son participants, significant changes in pre-post comparison scores on the variables of trust, communication, and social support were reported for both fathers and sons. Qualitative analysis revealed four major themes: communication enhancement, instructor influence, course components, and shared time. Based on these results, AE programming can be effective in increasing social support between fathers and sons, enabling them both to learn valuable life lessons about father-son interactions and communication benefits.